Dan Naden

The Recipe for an Effective Pre-game Goalie Warm up

Goalies of the World – I want you to rethink how you warm up before a game. I see too many goalies warming up by taking a few shots on goal from a few attacking players. This tactic will lead to injury and lack of preparation for game action.

Here’s the recommended recipe to get your mind and body ready for action.

  1. Goalie Stretch

    Your team is counting on you to be ready when the game begins.

    Take five minutes (at least) and stretch your groin, calves, quads, back, arms. Try some lunges to limber up your lower body and then some squats (2 sets of 10 reps). Finish with 10 jumps high in the air from a standing position.

    Get your upper body, including your head and neck, ready by doing some arm circles, back twists and head rolls. Reach for the sky with your arms and hold for 10 seconds. Do this for 3 sets.

  2. Goalie Ball exercises

    Now that you are fresh and loose, find a ball and do 50 taps on the ball (game speed, not slow motion) with the bottom of the feet, alternating between your left and right. Do the same thing with the inside of your feet, ticking the ball back and forth between each foot.

    Now, pick the ball up in your hands and do twenty dribbles, just like your favorite NBA player — first with 1 hand and then with two hands. The goalkeeper must have the strongest and surest hands on the field.

    Next, roll the ball along the ground around your straight legs. Perform 10 circles and then repeat the other direction. Perform the same circular revolutions around your knees, hips and chest. You might start out slowly with this drill, but you’ll get faster through repetition.

    Lastly, bounce the ball high off the ground and catch it at the highest point. Jump off one leg, driving the other knee high up in the air, propelling you into the air to catch the ball. Perform 10 repetitions with each leg.

  3. Goalie Footwork, Catching, Saving

    Your biggest moment of the game may come in the 1st minute.

    Stand in the middle of the goal and shuffle back and forth, touching each post 5 times. After your 10 progressions are complete, have another keeper or coach toss you the ball waist-high or chest-high as you shuffle. Make a good catch, ensuring possession for your team. Next, have your ‘helper’ stand 10 yards apart from you. When your ‘helper’ sends the ball back to you, save the ball as it approaches. After the save, distribute the ball, alternating different techniques (rolling, punting, throwing).

  4. Shots on goal

    If there’s still time, have a few of your teammates take some shots on goal. Encourage them to strike shots from 18 -25 yards out that are challenging, but make them ‘savable’ shots. The memory you don’t want right before game time is pulling the ball out of the back of the net.

Try this blueprint for goalkeeper warm up and you are ready to go.

Always Goalie Ready,

Dan Naden

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